HC Deb 25 June 1891 vol 354 cc1433-4
MR. ESSLEMONT (Aberdeen, E.)

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether he has seen the question put by the Crieff School Board to the Scotch Education Department, asking "what arrangement they require in regard to the religious teaching in public schools, in order that the grants to the Episcopal and Roman Catholic schools in Crieff may be respectively withdrawn and refused," and of the reply of the Scotch Education Department, in which it is stated that where parents believe that religious instruction ought to be imparted to their children at school, it cannot be said that "sufficient provision," in terms of the Education Act, Exists for the children in schools where no religious instruction is given, or where the religious instruction given is of a kind of which the parents disapprove; and whether, in a place where a School Board supplies sufficient secular education, leaving parents to give religious instruction to their children, the Scotch Education Department is also bound by Act of Parliament to give grants to a denominational school, on the ground that' parents have a statutory right to have their children taught their own religion at the expense of the State?


I have seen the letter from the Crieff School Board, containing the question quoted by the hon. Member, as well as the reply of the Department. That reply correctly states what, in my opinion, is the provision of the Education Acts. But the Department cannot undertake to make a general statement as to its bearing in hypothetical cases, but must confine itself to the application of the law as interpreted in specific cases which arises.

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